Week 5

This week I have been reading some chapters of “HTML & CSS – design and build websites”, I have brushed up on HTML code and have skimmed over some of the chapters on CSS, which I will be looking at in more depth next week, along with putting some of it into practice. I read chapters on page structure, tables, forms, introducing CSS and use of colours, those are the ones I remember looking at, I briefly looked at others. It is also useful and will apply, but the tables and forms chapters were most appealing to me as I will be making use of form features such as dropdown lists and radio buttons – reading helped point out the positives of each and when to use them – e.g. radio buttons presents all options so user can see right away, dropdown is better for a larger amount of options.

I have also just discovered a chapter on the process and design of building a website, I have only looked at the first page but it looks very useful, this will help me with my Friday’s hand in of the page designs. The chapter looks like it will look at catering for your audience, how to do this and what techniques will be used to make people behave in different ways

Time ~3 hours

I have also read a chapter and a half of “PHP & MySQL for dynamic websites”. With this book I aim to brush up on my existing basic PHP understanding, but learn more about PHP coding and get introduced to MySQL so I can use the pair for making / making use of a database driven website. I’d already looked at the introduction to PHP chapter, but I finished that one off – this went over basically what Adrian Shaw did, basic syntax, comments, variables, strings etc. However the chapter also reminded me about techniques such as concatenation of strings and when to use what kind of quotation mark.The second chapter I looked at actually used the PHP to do some basic web programming – it went over forms, the use of GET / POST, methods of validation (using ifs, isset() etc), it also went over arrays and types of loops, which I am going to need to know about when handling large amounts of data, going to and from the browser.

I also peered at the end of the book and read some pages, got scared by all of these unknown terms and then went back to the start. It was good looking at some examples of practices using all of the skills to be learnt in the book. I believe an example was talking about user registration.

I’ll include this under this heading too – I found more resources for reference on PHP / MySQL / jQuey / Ajax. I was looking to see what was available in the library, not much (although both my CSS and PHP book I had ordered in by the library), therefore I found some PDFs to “preview” online instead.

Time: ~ 7.5 hours

Finally this week I also purchase some web hosting and a domain name, all in all very cheap at $2/month all in, including the domain. Therefore I’ve installed WordPress and created a couple of pages. I also tried to make modifications using an FTP client to update things rather than using the online interface, this worked too. I haven’t modified any of the styling yet, this is something I will consider over the coming weeks. The first thing I’ll be doing is working out getting data in and out of the database, using PHP and MySQL. I have set a database up for my site (on iPage’s servers, not Uni), however I’ll be honest and say I don’t really know what I’m doing – this week I will at least try putting data into the database (even if manually) then write some code to get that data out. I really need to be at a level of posting data to the database soon though.

Time: ~ 2 hours

Time: ~ 1 hour

Lecture slide and feedback review:

Time: ~ 1 hour

TOTAL: 14.5 hours

(coming week – UI designs, get evaluation and more reading. If time, practice dynamic web stuff!)

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